Southampton still have reasons
Like the hapless Brian Stimpson, so splendidly portrayed by John Cleese in the 1980s farce Clockwise, most football fans can take the despair; it’s the hope they cannot stand. With only three or four fixtures left to play in this season’s Premier League, fans of West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Southampton can almost certainly feel the Womens Brian Westbrook Jersey headmaster’s anguish. Most are http://www.bruinsteamprostore.com/Sean_Kuraly_Jerseyperfectly Womens Mike Conley Jersey well equipped to deal with the trauma of relegation to the Championship but it is the possibility of avoiding it that drives them to the brink of madness. For West Brom fans, the agony is almost over. Almost but not quite. It is still mathematically possible for them to stay in the top flight but their mini-rage against the dying of the light almost certainly constitutes too little too late. Nothing less than successive wins in their final three matches will suffice and even that will be good enough only in the unlikely event Swansea fail to take more than one point from 12 available. It is a scenario so implausible that all West Brom players and supporters seem to have resigned themselves to their fate and are at peace with it. All but those dreamy optimists who remember Swansea lost four league games on the spin once before this season and are not so great that it is beyond them do it again. Supporters of Stoke and Southampton have more reasons for optimism. Four points adrift with three and four matches to play respectively, there is enough recent precedent to suggest they have every chance of clinging on to their top-tier status. Few would argue Sunderland are the most poorly run club in the English league but before a slide into League One that has been as ignominious as it was inexorable, they did claw their way to safety in successive seasons from some pretty dire situations. Seven points adrift with six games to play under Gus Poyet in 2014, Sunderland looked doomed only to win four of their final five matches to drag themselves from the foot of the table and send Norwich down instead. It was the club’s third consecutive flirtation with the drop and Poyet was adamant it was an experience he had no wish to repeat the following season. “I don’t want another seven months like this,” he said, hailing what he labelled as one of his greatest achievements in football. He need not have worried – sacked the following March, he was replaced by Dick Advocaat, who went on to mastermind another escape despite his side being down among the dead men with four matches to go. In the past 20 Premier League seasons, teams in the relegation places around this time of year have managed to extricate themselves http://www.authenticbluesjerseys.com/Authentic-Brian-Sutter-Jersey on seven different occasions. Those precariously perched above the drop zone will need little reminding that Wigan stayed up at the expense of Birmingham in 2011, despite trailing them by four points with as many games to go. With the same number of matches left three years previously, Bolton and Fulham were also adrift but had enough about them to rally and survive. A year before, in 2007, West Ham performed the most unlikely of Houdini acts with Carlos Tevez in the unlikely role of glamorous assistant. Their survival, courtesy of four consecutive wins culminating in a final-day victory at Harry Giles Jersey Old Trafford, prompted the disappearance of Sheffield United from the top flight and would ultimately cost them £25.5m in fines and compensation. Chump change which would have been cheap at twice the price compared with the money on offer for staying in the Premier League. Before West Ham’s heroics, Bradford had pulled off one of the most impressive feats of football escapology, ending a run of 10 matches without a win in 2000 to prevail in three of http://www.footballravensofficialauthentic.com/Brandon_Williams_Jerseytheir last four – the final one against Liverpool – to send Wimbledon plummeting through the trapdoor. A season previously, Southampton stayed up courtesy of the kind of late-season rally – two draws followed by three wins – in which they and Coventry famously specialised at the time. If they are to pull off a similar feat this time around, their players could do worse than summon the spirit of Matt Le Tissier, Claus Lundekvam and Jason Dodd.http://fanclub.bglradio.net/forum/topic/11543
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